Several pieces of evidence support the role of activated platelets in the development of the chronic inflammation-related diseases, such as atherothrombosis and cancer, mainly via the release of soluble factors and microparticles (MPs). Platelets and MPs contain a repertoire of proteins and genetic material (i.e., mRNAs and microRNAs) which may be influenced by the clinical condition of the individuals. In fact, platelets are capable of up-taking proteins and genetic material during their lifespan. Moreover, the content of platelet-derived MPs can be delivered to other cells, including stromal, immune, epithelial, and cancer cells, to change their phenotype and functions, thus contributing to cancer promotion and its metastasization. Platelets and MPs can play an indirect role in the metastatic process by helping malignant cells to escape from immunological surveillance. Furthermore, platelets and their derived MPs represent a potential source for blood biomarker development in oncology. This review provides an updated overview of the roles played by platelets and MPs in cancer and metastasis formation. The possible analysis of platelet and MP molecular signatures for the detection of cancer and monitoring of anticancer treatments is discussed. Finally, the potential use of MPs as vectors for drug delivery systems to cancer cells is put forward.
Cancer and Metastasis Reviews – Springer Journals
Published: May 31, 2018
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